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My ID Story

Prior to my career in Learning and Professional Development, I was in advertising. At the time, the market was unforgiving. After being let go after yet another downsizing/restructuring, I thought about getting some formal training in graphic design.  All of my professional development in graphics and design came from the school of hard knocks- knowledge shared with me from designers working on client work on the ad floor. Portfolio in hand, I walked into a trade school nestled between MIT and Harvard called Computer Processing Institute (CPI). I requested a meeting with the Graphics Chair, hopes that he could evaluate had gaps in my skills that the program might fill. He reviewed my portfolio, and his response changed my life: “This is great stuff, but have you ever taught before?” I was shocked. I went to CPI believing I might leave the meeting as a paying student. I never thought I would be discussing an opportunity of a paying job. I managed to get over my initial surprise and put together the reply, “No, but I would be happy to do a trial session for you”. The trial went well, and I got the job. One week before I started, I was handed an 11-week curriculum to teach. It was an 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper with handwritten notes on one side. “Week 1: Graphics Basics”, “Week 2: Illustrator Basics” (and so, on). So, I quickly became an instructional designer as well as an instructor. 19 years later, I am still here and very thankful for that single strange circumstance that brought me to this industry.